Pak-Afghan jirga for joint efforts against terror: Reconciliation, talks vital for lasting success: Qureshi
* Foreign minister says Pakistan, Afghanistan facing common enemy
* Says use of force alone would not yield desired results
ISLAMABAD: Negotiations and reconciliation are necessary to succeed in combating terrorism and extremism, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Monday. He said terrorism posed the gravest threat to Pakistan and Afghanistan and both countries should forge closer co-operation to eliminate the menace.
“This is the gravest threat to both countries and they need to co-operate closely to effectively counter and completely eliminate this curse,” he said while addressing the inaugural session of the Pak-Afghan mini jirga (jirga gai).
He reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to combating terrorism and extremism, and said the government would never allow the use of Pakistani soil against its own or Afghanistan’s interests.
Common enemy: According to Online, Qureshi said both the countries faced a common enemy in terrorism, and joint efforts were required to combat it but at the same time underscored the need for joint efforts to overcome challenges.
“Our cultures and customs, folklore, languages and literature, our heroes and histories are all common. Above all we share our glorious and eternal faith, Islam. Our concerns and aspirations are common,” he said.
Force: Qureshi said the use of force alone would not yield the desired results. “We must not shut the doors of negotiations to those sons of the soil willing to forsake the path of violence. With a patient ear, we must listen to them, and let them be heard,” he said.
Qureshi said the two countries were victims of international neglect and had also suffered due to the free flow of weapons, drugs and the insidious spread of extremist ideologies, which led to the spread of militancy.
He said the political vacuum created in Afghanistan had resulted in the country’s Talibanisation.
Leader of the Afghan delegation, former Afghan foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for holding the mini jirga. He said the presence of representatives from different sections of both the countries would be helpful in taking joint action against terrorists and eliminate the extremist elements from the region.
NWFP Governor Owais Ahmad Ghani said the jirga would help the two sides remove their misunderstandings and increase co-ordination in tackling terrorism. sajjad malik/online